As a third-party certification scheme which focuses on rewarding projects that go above and beyond in terms of sustainability, at BREEAM we are constantly evolving to ensure that BREEAM certification continues to award the projects which make truly sustainable design choices. Recently, BREEAM has introduced an alternative methodology to the ‘Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions (Ene 01)’ assessment area of the BREEAM New Construction 2018 scheme.
New Construction 2018 is the most recent BREEAM New Construction scheme which can be used to assess the environmental life cycle impacts of new non-domestic buildings at the design and construction stages.
The Energy category carries the largest weighting of all categories in the New Construction 2018 scheme and Ene 01 is an important part of this. Ene 01 encourages the design of energy efficient buildings and accurate modelling of operational energy consumption. The alternative methodology factors in the rapid decarbonisation of the UK electricity grid, recognising design choices which are likely to have lower operational impacts because of this.
The key differences between the alternative methodology and the ‘standard’ methodology are;
- In the alternative methodology, all the heating systems in the notional building are defined as being a gas boiler. (For Building Regulations, the notional heating systems type is defined to be the same as the actual system type installed in most instances.)
- The alternative methodology uses the more up-to-date emission factors in SAP 10, which take account of progress towards decarbonisation of grid supply electricity.
In addition, the alternative methodology excludes any carbon savings associated with district heating where connection is a condition of planning consent. This prevents projects from being penalised, or rewarded, where the design team have no choice about the heating system.
For the alternative methodology, the carbon and primary energy savings associated with heating systems that use heat pumps will be significantly higher compared to a gas boiler when using the more recent SAP 10 emission factors, than would be the case for the standard methodology (Building Regulations) methodology. The scale for awarding credits using the alternative methodology has been adjusted to reflect the high savings potential of heat pumps compared to gas boilers.
Clients and design team members with projects registered for assessment under the BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 scheme are advised to contact their Licensed BREEAM Assessor for further guidance and advice on this matter. You can also read more about the Ene 01 calculation methodology in BREEAM Guidance Note 39 if you wish to know more technical details. There is no additional modelling required by the alternative methodology, as all the information needed is extracted from the brukl. inp file which is generated to show compliance with Building Regulations. The BREEAM system also automatically awards credits based on the methodology which gives the most credits, meaning users do not have to choose a methodology.Please be advised that the new methodology is not applicable to older versions of the UK New Construction scheme (i.e. 2011 and 2014).
The Ene 01 alternative methodology has been developed to ensure that BREEAM New Construction 2018 continues to stay one step ahead, adequately rewarding sustainability achievements in the context of the modern world. This can come in the form of the release of an updated version of a scheme like BREEAM New Construction 2018 or the release of an alternative methodology like the one which is the focus of this article. It is updates like this which ensure that BREEAM stays at the forefront of sustainability in the built environment.